The Ireland Women’s squad for the 2016 6 Nations championship has been announced.

The defending 6 Nations Champions will play their home matches in Donnybrook this season and they will open their campaign at the Dublin 4 venue when they face Wales on Saturday, 6th February. The Ireland Women will also take part in a double-header in Twickenham when they play England directly after their male counterparts on 27th February.
 
There are a number of players who will be looking to win their first Ireland cap during the championship. Tralee and Munster players Zoe Grattage and Ciara Griffin are joined by Tralee teammate Ciara O’Connor, who plays provincially with Connacht and St.Mary’s and Connacht flanker Grainne Egan as the uncapped players in the pack. In the backs, U.L Bohs and Munster wing Liz Burke and centres Elise O’Byrne-White (Old Belvedere and Leinster) and Claire McLaughlin (Queen’s University and Ulster) are also uncapped.
 
Niamh Briggs will again captain the side from full-back.
 
Speaking on the selection, Ireland Women’s coach, Tom Tierney said:
 
“We have named a squad full of talent for this year’s championship. There is a nice blend of youth and experience and the vibe in the camp has been very positive over the last few weeks.
 
“We’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of the girls play and we’ve looked at a number of combinations. The newer members of the squad are doing really well, so we’re looking forward to getting the campaign underway against Wales in Donnybrook and seeing what the girls can do”.

Ireland Women's rugby team
 
Director of Women’s Rugby, Anthony Eddy added:
 
“This is an exciting time for women’s rugby in Ireland. In November we saw the team play their first ever Autumn International against England and they’ve had a number of weekend camps at their base in DCU over the last number of months. As well as that, with the move to Donnybrook stadium this year, we will hopefully see even more supporters come out to watch the women play.
 
“There will be some new faces involved in this year’s campaign, which is important as we are constantly looking to develop our squad and build our strength in depth going forward.”
 
Tickets for Ireland’s home 6 Nations games in Donnybrook are available now via Ticketmaster.
 
Ireland Women’s Six Nations 2016 Squad
 
Forwards:

Elaine Anthony (Munster/Highfield)
Ciara Cooney (Leinster/Railway Union)
Ailis Egan (Leinster/Old Belvedere)

Grainne Egan (Connacht/St.Mary’s)*
Paula Fitzpatrick (Leinster/Stade Toulousain)
Orla Fitzsimons (Leinster/St.Mary’s)

Zoe Grattage (Munster/Tralee)*
Ciara Griffin (Munster/Tralee)*
Claire Molloy (Bristol)
Cliodhna Moloney (Leinster/Railway Union)
Heather O’Brien (Munster/Stade Toulousain)
Fiona O’Brien (Leinster/Old Belvedere)
Ciara O’Connor (Connacht/Tralee)*
Ruth O’Reilly (Connacht/Galwegians)
Lindsay Peat (Leinster/Railway Union)
Fiona Reidy (Munster/U.L Bohemians)
Marie-Louise Reilly (Leinster/Old Belvedere)
Sophie Spence (Leinster/Old Belvedere)

 
Backs:

Niamh Briggs (Munster/U.L Bohemians)
Liz Burke (Munster/U.L Bohemians)*
Nikki Caughey (Ulster/Railway Union)
Mairead Coyne (Connacht/Galwegians)
Aine Donnelly (Leinster/Cill Dara)
Mary Healy (Connacht/Galwegians)
Claire McLaughlin (Ulster/Queen’s University)*
Larissa Muldoon (Skewen)
Sene Naoupu (Connacht/Galwegians)
Elise O’Byrne-White (Leinster/Old Belvedere)*
Jackie Shiels (Richmond)
Nora Stapleton (Leinster/Old Belvedere)
 
*denotes uncapped player
 
Six Nations – Ireland Women’s Fixtures

Ireland v Wales (Saturday, 6th February, 13:00, Donnybrook Stadium)
France v Ireland (Saturday, 13th February, 21:00 local time, Stade Aimé Giral, Perpignan)
England v Ireland (Saturday, 27th February, 19:15,  Twickenham)
Ireland v Italy (Sunday, 13th March, 13:00,  Donnybrook Stadium)
Ireland v Scotland (Sunday, 20th March, 13:00,  Donnybrook Stadium)